There Was a Young Zombie Who Swallowed a Worm

Kane Miller. (There Was a Young…). Aug. 2023. 32p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781684645787.
PreS-Gr 2–This humorous picture book, written in a familiar format, is sure to tickle the funny bones of young children who are excited about Halloween. Using the template of the classic song “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” this tale chronicles an adorable young zombie as he tries to solve the problem of a worm he ate that is making him squirm. He keeps swallowing something that could take care of the discomfort of the newest item he swallowed, but each thing he gulps down gets bigger and has its own set of problems. When the bat, toad, witch, ghost, beast, and troll do not help his digestive problems, he gulps down an entire swamp. This does the trick. When everything is thrown up, he feels much better, but finds he is still hungry and is on the prowl again. The author’s use of rhyme and alliteration adds a playful cadence to the narrative. While this contributes to the book’s charm and rhythm, at times the content seems to sacrifice clarity for the sake of maintaining the rhyme scheme. The illustrations are a visual treat; vibrant and detailed, they capture the Halloween spirit.
VERDICT This lighthearted read-aloud is a good choice for parents and librarians seeking a Halloween story that will leave youngsters giggling and eager for tales more silly than spooky.

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